Jesus whispers, “Hold Steady”

By Joan Clayton

My plants take a beating with these hot windy days. At noon they curl up their leaves and wilt. All of my work and energy wasted, I think. I made plans in early April about my garden. I gave my flower beds tender care by planting, watering, and fertilizing. The plants thrived until the heat of the last few weeks.
Now it appears all my efforts wasted my time. Am I discouraged? No. I’ve been through this before. So I will keep hanging in there. I will nurture my plants, despite the heat. If I do my part, I know how it all turns out.
This fall’s beautiful harvest with its chilly nights and cooler days will appear and my plants will be in full bloom. I will bask in the beauty of God’s handiwork. The hot dry winds of summer will fade as I sit in my porch swing and enjoy the fruit of my efforts.
It also takes faith and courage to stay in the heat of life’s battles. Winds of adversity blow and we almost wilt under the burden of it, until we recall God’s promises. With patience, perseverance and his Word, God sustains any situation.
So in this heat I will remember: “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper” (Psalm 1:3).
A friend remarked to me one day: “See this little plant? It’s droopy and limp, but when I water it, it comes back to life with strength.”
Without God’s Word I am droopy and limp. His Word is water to my thirsty soul.
For everything there is a season and God makes “everything beautiful in his time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
A life lived for God brings a beautiful harvest at life’s end. During life’s journey, many weeds try to choke, crowd and close in on our lives. Times of dryness prevail. Hope seems to fade and shadows block the sunshine in the garden of our hearts, but God’s Word hidden in your heart brings great dividends. Each one of us can look back over our lives and see God’s faithfulness. So we do not lose heart. My great-grandparents, my grandparents and my parents endured many conflicts, but their conquering faith resulted in triumphs. They had a cutting edge for successful living as they “held steady” and relied on God’s promises.
Several years ago the following poem came to me during Communion at church. To God be the glory. Never could I have thought it up myself. I have read and reread it many times and it has given me comfort and strength. I pray it will do the same for you:

Jesus Whispers: Hold Steady
“Life has problems, we cannot deny.
For trials, we are never ready.
We have an answer we can live by.
Jesus whispers, ‘Hold Steady!’
Our lives are sown with patterns cut.
Our needles become unsteady.
We tie a knot and try to hang on.
Jesus whispers, ‘Hold Steady!’
Of all the appointments I have to keep,
For one, I want to be ready.
When I lay me down to sleep,
Jesus whispers, ‘Hold Steady!’ ”